12 June 2018

Competition time. Enter for your chance to win!

Enter your details below for the chance to win a beautifully illustrated history of your home.

Our leading historian will dig into ancient maps, old photographs and historic records to take you back in time and discover whose footsteps you follow every time you walk through the front door. Terms & Conditions apply. Good luck!

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Please see the Terms & Conditions below for the full details of the prize draw and how we will use your information.

29 Morrison Street example history

We’ve been digging into the history of a house very close to our hearts; 29 Morrison Street, the home bought with our very first mortgage. Read on for some of the secrets we uncovered.

Escape from the slums

It’s 1875, the population of London has grown at an alarming rate and the unwashed bodies, sewage and coal fires are mounting to give way to what became known as the Great Stink. Families cram into dirty slums and outbreaks of cholera spread through the city.

29 Morrison Street was built as part of the Shaftesbury Park Estate in a far cleaner environment around Battersea. The estate, labelled the ‘Workman’s City’, was a welcome escape from the worsening conditions of central London. To mark this first step towards a better life, the words Healthy homes, first condition of social progress are etched into the foundation stone.

The cost of a better life

There were four levels of class applied to the houses built on Morrison Street and the surrounding estate.

29 Morrison Street itself was a third class home, which provided a total of six rooms, including kitchen, scullery and parlour, plus an outside toilet. Still a vast improvement on the central London slums.

The cost of such luxury? Alfred Idle, the first person to purchase the house, provided a £10 deposit, which was over a month’s wages for a skilled workman at the time*. To cover the rest, he took out a £200 mortgage and paid monthly installments of £1 14 shillings.

*Source:  (This link will open in a new window)nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Who lives in a house like this?

Alfred Idle was a Librarian Assistant with nine (yes nine) children. He worked at Mudie’s Circulating Library, at a time in Victorian Britain when books were still an expensive luxury. The library, with over 7 million books, allowed everyday people to access literature for less.

Your home history competition image

The house was later home to a retired sergeant, constantly regarded in service records as being ‘of very good character’. Following in his footsteps, the eldest son left 29 Morrison Street at 16 to enlist. He was sent to South Africa to fight in the Second Boer War and was awarded the Queen’s Medal. He, like his father, eventually acquired the rank of Sergeant and his records show him to have been of ‘exemplary character, a good clerk and an excellent penman’. Who knew calligraphy was a valued trait in a soldier?

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But there’s always one who doesn’t quite fit the mould. Enter the younger brother, Thomas Kedge. Described as 5 feet 4 ½ inches tall with grey eyes, black hair and an anchor tattoo on his left arm. According to records he was accepted into the 4th Rifle Brigade at 15-years-old. By 1898 he’d been appointed Corporal (so far so good), but was reverted back to Private for ‘misconduct’. He was transferred to The Black Watch and stationed in Edinburgh, but was curiously discharged after only two years with no details given. Even in those days, families had their differences.

Pioneers of their time

By 1915, the house’s new occupant had a highly impressive and unusual profession, as one of London’s first ever Motor Bus Drivers. In a period when the roads were still very much dominated by horses, he was paving the way for public transport. He was also the son of a Firework Artist (whatever that is), so interesting jobs ran in the family.

Searching for a better life

In 1927 four occupants of 29 Morrison Street boarded the Empress of Scotland in search of a better life in Canada. The travellers included two young men, a young woman and a nine-month old infant, who appeared on the ship’s records as the woman’s niece. It isn’t clear what the true relationship was between them, and particularly whose daughter the child really was, but at least one of the young men remained in Canada, and records of his life there exist right into the 1960s.

Surviving an attack

During the Second World War, Morrison Street was at serious risk of bombing, and at 6am on 17 July 1944 the worst happened. A V1 rocket fell on the street, completely destroying 20 houses, including numbers 37 (just four doors down) and 49. It was close, but number 29 remained standing.

Entering the modern world

Then finally, in 1958, after very little change to the house since construction, 29 Morrison Street was fitted with its first internal toilet! A feature which had come to many other houses in the area during the 1930s… better late than never.

From there, 29 Morrison Street saw a number of short-term renters coming and going. And in the 1970s, joined a London housing trend by becoming a shared rented space, rather than a single family home.

That is, until 2016, when a new family bought the house and began creating a 29 Morrison Street home history of their own.

The history of 29 Morrison Street was found using a variety of sources, from electoral registers, wills and probate to drainage plans. If you’re interested in the history of your house, original documents can be found in the National Archives as well as local county or borough record offices.

  1. The Promoter of the prize draw is Nationwide Building Society, Nationwide House, Pipers Way, Swindon, SN38 1NW (“the Promoter”).
  2. Entrants of the prize draw must be residents of the UK aged 18 or over. Nationwide Building Society employees, temporary workers and contractors are not permitted to enter.
  3. The prize draw is free to enter and no purchase is necessary.
  4. To enter this prize draw, entrants must go on to the Nationwide website and complete the entry form providing their first name, last name and email address.
  5. Only one entry per person is permitted.
  6. Entrants must own the home being submitted for a home history. If you enter and you do not own the home, you will not be able to claim the prize if you win.
  7. The opening date for entries is 8.00 am on Thursday 14 June 2018. The closing date is midnight on Saturday 21 July 2018. Entries received after this time will not be accepted.
  8. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for entries not successfully completed due to a technical fault of any kind.
  9. One winner will be chosen from all valid entries by random draw, performed by a computer process, on Monday 23 July 2018.
  10. The winner will gain the opportunity to have a historian conduct research into the history of their home, which will then be presented to them in an illustrative poster. Please note, the home history research can take up to 4 weeks to complete subject to historian availability.
  11. The winner will be notified via email from home.archive@nationwide.co.uk on Tuesday 24 July 2018 and must provide a postal address to claim their prize. The Promoter will make two attempts to contact the winner and if the winner does not respond to the Promoter within 14 days of being notified by the Promoter, then the winner’s prize will be forfeited and the Promoter will be entitled to select another winner in accordance with the process described above.
  12. The winner will receive the home history illustration prize within 2 weeks of completion of their home history research.
  13. The level of detail in the home history illustration will be based on the amount of history collected on the home within the 4-week period and limited to the information publicly available.
  14. The Promoter reserves the right to replace the prize with an alternative prize of equal or higher value if circumstances beyond the Promoter’s control make it necessary to do so.
  15. The decision of the Promoter regarding any aspect of the prize draw is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered in to about it.
  16. Details of the winner (name and regional areas only) will be available from Monday 30 July 2018 by writing to Advertising Team, Nationwide House, D1, Nationwide Building Society, Pipers Way, Swindon, SN38 1NW.
  17. Participants are deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions upon entry. The Promoter reserves the right to refuse entry, or refuse to award the prize to anyone in breach of these terms and conditions.

Use of Personal Information

This is a summary of how Nationwide will use your personal information, if you’d like a more detailed explanation, please see Nationwide’s full privacy statement “How Nationwide uses your information”, available in branch or online at nationwide.co.uk/privacy

The information you provide will be held by Nationwide to process your entry to the Prize Draw and contact you through home.archive@nationwide.co.uk if you have won.

Personal data supplied during the course of this promotion will be used only insofar as required for fulfilment/delivery/arrangement of the prize.

If you win we:


  • will share your name and contact details with our freelance historian to complete the research, we will let you know who this will be.
  • may use your home history research in any future promotional material which Nationwide chooses to carry out in connection with this prize draw. Such promotional material may include amongst others an article within selected areas of nationwide.co.uk.
  • may require you to participate in publicity related to the prize draw which may include the publication of your name, regional area and photograph in any media.

The content displayed on our recent news and articles page is for information purposes only, and is accurate at the time of publication. The information will not be maintained, and so we cannot guarantee that at any given time the information will be up to date or complete. Please verify any information you take before relying on it.

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